This year I participated in a photography project with a group of other photographers called the Saturday Morning Collective. We took pictures each Saturday morning documenting the mundane… and sometimes not so mundane parts of our lives. And while I continued to take tons of pictures of Riley, it pushed me to take pictures of moments that I might not have. I look back on these pictures (and hope to for many years) and find that they evoke so many emotions and memories from a quiet moment with a book to the excitement of guests arriving for a party and everything in between. Enjoy.
January found us having a number of lazy mornings reading and writing and creating fortune tellers, but also sent us to San Diego for a vacation. It was a fantastic break from our Minnesota winter and a great way to celebrate my birthday.
By February we were back in the cold, but trying to embrace it as much as we could. Luckily, Riley’s birthday helped take our minds of the freezing weather for a moment. Plus, we got to surprise my dad for his 90th birthday. It was also the month that Riley finished writing her first chapter book, Windy and the Crystal Cave (although it would take us another 10 months to edit and then order it).
March didn’t really let up on winter, but we were able to celebrate Easter with family and we went to our first rally at the Capital. I knew parenting would be tough at times, but it turns out there are a lot of things I didn’t think I’d have to worry about like school shootings. I don’t want to talk about these things with my kid, but it seems that it’s necessary in this day and time.
Awe, spring… except it wasn’t exactly seeing we had a winter blizzard on April 18th. Eventually, it stopped snowing and we were able to head outside without being bundled up from head to toe. There is something about the spring sun that makes it feel especially magical… but this year I was also desperate for winter to be over.
May continued with the wacky weather. One weekend we went camping on Madeline Island and came home a day early because it was so cold and rainy… and the next weekend we cancelled a camping trip since it was 100 degrees. We still made the best of it though and were able to explore both Madeline Island and Taylors Falls… and had a great time.
This is my time of year. If only it could be June all the time. The sun, the warmth, an occasional summer storm… I love it. I also loved seeing my sister who came up from Missouri with her husband. While she was in town our former neighbors came to visit which made it extra special.
4th of July, buggy hikes, hot days at papa’s, parades, farmer markets…summer, summer, summer.
I’m not going to complain about how hot August was because I’d rather have that than winter in April. The best part of this month was going back to the Badlands and the Black Hills in South Dakota and exploring it in a whole new way.
Summer has winded down, school is back in session, summer light is waning… I love September, but it also marks the start of fall… which means winter is close behind. We soaked up every last bit of the weather and I even got to go on a photo walk with a bunch of other photographers which was a blast.
October included our last hike of the year. Earlier in the year, I set a goal of 50 hikes by my 50th birthday and this brought us to hike 16 which was above my goal of 13 for the year. It was a doozy of a hike too - Jesse and I hiked to the top of Eagle Mountain, the highest point in Minnesota… and then came home from camping a day early because it was too darn cold. Also, Riley was delighted to be Midnight Fairy for Halloween.
I was able to travel for work in November for the first time. It was a wonderful break, and even though it was long hours, I was rewarded with the warm weather of Orlando, FL. Riley and I also explored downtown where we found a new mural.
Our biggest surprise in December was adopting a new cat. We had absolutely no plans to do so, but Jesse and I cracked when we met Oliver. Riley was especially surprised when she came home from school and found him at our house. The year ended with family time at Christmas, a drive to Duluth to see holiday lights, and Riley going to a New Year’s Eve party and staying up until midnight to celebrate.